Earlier this year, Churchill Downs Racetrack announced its search for one passionate foodie to receive the honorary title of Official Menu Taste Tester of the 146th Kentucky Derby. Foodies from across the country shared their favorite original Derby party recipes. Each recipe was carefully judged based on its level of originality, ease of preparation, and consistency with the Derby party theme by Churchill Downs’ Executive Chef, David Danielson.
The winner of this unique gourmet getaway, California resident Jennifer Coalson Perez’s entry was a succotash salad that took the “triple crown” as the winner. She was awarded the trip to Louisville to learn the secrets behind chef Danielson in his Louisville kitchen. As the official menu taste tester, Jennifer will be joining Danielson to partake in the ultimate sampling of Kentucky fare and select the highly coveted dishes on this year’s official menus. She will also receive tickets to the 146th Kentucky Derby to see the official menu come to life.
4 ears fresh sweet corn on the cob
2 medium red bell peppers
1 red onion
2 large cucumbers
1 pint mini heirloom tomatoes
I bag frozen shelled edamame (9 ounces)
½ cup mint leaves loosely packed
1 cup Italian parsley leaves, loosely packed
1 Meyer lemon and apple cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
Salt to taste
Remove husks and clean corn cobs and steam until just tender, then set aside to cool. Defrost edamame at room temperature. Dice all peppers, onions, cucumbers and tomatoes into uniform pieces. Once the corn has cooled, remove kernels from husks. Chop parsley. Combine all produce into a large mixing bowl.
Mince 1 clove of garlic and the mint. Zest the Meyer lemon, and juice it. Augment the lemon juice with apple cider vinegar to equal ½ cup total. Add honey and olive oil and blend or whisk to combine. Add salt to taste.
Mix vinaigrette with produce to fully coat. Chill for an hour and toss once more before service.